Rezko Guilty on 16 Counts (updated)

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, friend and fundraiser to many movers and shakers in Illinois politics, has been found guilty on 16 counts of fraud and corruption in connection with a "pay for play" bribery scheme that funneled kickbacks from campaign contributors to Rezko and his co-defendants:

Rezko's guilty verdict on 16 of 24 corruption counts could have broad repercussions for Blagojevich, who made Rezko a central player in his kitchen cabinet. It could also prove a political liability for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser, as the likely Democratic presidential nominee heads into the general election campaign against Republican John McCain.

"I'm saddened by today's verdict," Obama said Wednesday. "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future."<

Is there something familiar about Obama's statement on Rezko's conviction? Powerline points out an all too regular refrain from Obama about his associates who have caused him trouble:

I don't doubt that Obama is saddened by his mentor's conviction, but the rest of his statement is from outer space. "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew." Deja vu, anyone? I could swear I've heard it somewhere before. Sure enough--the racist, anti-American Rev. Wright whom we've all seen on video wasn't the Rev. Wright whom Obama knew for 20 years, either. And the outrageously bigoted Father Pfleger wasn't the Pfleger whom Obama assiduously supported with earmarks--another form of political corruption.

Obama seems to suffer from a singular inability to "know" his most intimate associates. One day soon, will a "saddened" Obama tell us that the Michelle Obama we see on video is "not the Michelle Obama I knew?" Time will tell.

Incredible. Will some enterprising reporter ever point this regular refrain out to Obama and ask him to explain?
 
That will be the day.

Now Rezko, who is about to be indicted on an unrelated bribery matter as well as facing indictment for writing several hundred thousand dollars in bad checks in Las Vegas, faces dozens of years in jail - unless he makes a deal with the prosecutor to tell him what he knows of corruption at the highest levels of state government.

No doubt many Illinois politicians from both parties are very nervous about what Rezko could tell the prosecutor about his various schemes. What is unknown is if he would have anything interesting to say about his friend and protege Barack Obama. What about that real estate deal regarding Obamaa's  house? Did Obama do any favors for Rezko or his cronies while in the Senate?

There are several questions left unanswered with regard to Obama's relationship with Rezko. And there is little doubt that we will hear more about their association if the convicted felon starts singing to the state about what he knows.


Update -- Rosslyn Smith adds:

Once again it appears that Barak Obama utterly failed to comprehend crucial elements of a friend's character. And he is running on his superior judgment?

Call him Pollyobama.

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, friend and fundraiser to many movers and shakers in Illinois politics, has been found guilty on 16 counts of fraud and corruption in connection with a "pay for play" bribery scheme that funneled kickbacks from campaign contributors to Rezko and his co-defendants:

Rezko's guilty verdict on 16 of 24 corruption counts could have broad repercussions for Blagojevich, who made Rezko a central player in his kitchen cabinet. It could also prove a political liability for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser, as the likely Democratic presidential nominee heads into the general election campaign against Republican John McCain.

"I'm saddened by today's verdict," Obama said Wednesday. "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future."<

Is there something familiar about Obama's statement on Rezko's conviction? Powerline points out an all too regular refrain from Obama about his associates who have caused him trouble:

I don't doubt that Obama is saddened by his mentor's conviction, but the rest of his statement is from outer space. "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew." Deja vu, anyone? I could swear I've heard it somewhere before. Sure enough--the racist, anti-American Rev. Wright whom we've all seen on video wasn't the Rev. Wright whom Obama knew for 20 years, either. And the outrageously bigoted Father Pfleger wasn't the Pfleger whom Obama assiduously supported with earmarks--another form of political corruption.

Obama seems to suffer from a singular inability to "know" his most intimate associates. One day soon, will a "saddened" Obama tell us that the Michelle Obama we see on video is "not the Michelle Obama I knew?" Time will tell.

Incredible. Will some enterprising reporter ever point this regular refrain out to Obama and ask him to explain?
 
That will be the day.

Now Rezko, who is about to be indicted on an unrelated bribery matter as well as facing indictment for writing several hundred thousand dollars in bad checks in Las Vegas, faces dozens of years in jail - unless he makes a deal with the prosecutor to tell him what he knows of corruption at the highest levels of state government.

No doubt many Illinois politicians from both parties are very nervous about what Rezko could tell the prosecutor about his various schemes. What is unknown is if he would have anything interesting to say about his friend and protege Barack Obama. What about that real estate deal regarding Obamaa's  house? Did Obama do any favors for Rezko or his cronies while in the Senate?

There are several questions left unanswered with regard to Obama's relationship with Rezko. And there is little doubt that we will hear more about their association if the convicted felon starts singing to the state about what he knows.


Update -- Rosslyn Smith adds:

Once again it appears that Barak Obama utterly failed to comprehend crucial elements of a friend's character. And he is running on his superior judgment?

Call him Pollyobama.